Following ovulation the remains of the ovulating follicle within the ovary has two distinct futures, depending on whether fertilization and implantation has occurred over the next two weeks. Initially pituitary leutenizing hormone (LH) maintains the follicle and stimulates initial development. If no implantation then occurs, then the follicle will form a structure that will degenerate (luteolysis) the corpus albicans.
If implantation does occur, then the follicle is stimulated by the hormone hCG released from the conceptus that reaches the ovary through the maternal blood stream. This hormone leads to the follicle forming the corpus luteum, which now acts as an endocrine organ secreting high levels progesterone. This progesterone now maintains the uterine endometrium and prevents its normal loss and menstruation.
Note that pregnancy in both the primate menstrual cycle and other mammals estrous cycle are dependent upon formation of the corpus luteum.
(More? Week 1 - Oogenesis)
Ben-Ami I, Armon L, Freimann S, Strassburger D, Ron-El R, Amsterdam A. EGF-like growth factors as LH mediators in the human corpus luteum. Hum Reprod. 2009 Jan;24(1):176-84. Epub 2008 Oct 3. PMID: 18835871
"This study aims to investigate the role of epidermal growth factor-like ligands, amphiregulin (Ar) and epiregulin (Ep), in regulation of apoptosis in luteinized human granulosa cells. LH stimulation of luteinized human granulosa cells induced biosynthesis of Ar and Ep mRNA in a time-dependent manner. ...Incubation of the cells with Ar and Ep completely abolished the increase in apoptosis rate induced by serum starvation, and concomitantly caused a pronounced increase in progesterone production. Stimulation of the cells with Ar and Ep also activated the ERK and AKT signaling cascades. Finally, we demonstrated that the pro-survival effect of Ar and Ep is partially dependent on their ability to induce progesterone production."
(Latin, corpus = body, luteum = yellow) The remains of ovarian follicle after ovulation that acts as an endocrine organ (produce progesterone and oestrogens) supporting pregnancy and preventing menstruation (loss of the endometrial lining). Formed by proliferation of both follicular granulosa cells (granulosa lutein cells) and thecal cells (theca lutein cells) after ovulation. granulosa lutein cells and theca lutein cells and produce progesterone and oestrogens.
de Graaf first observed the corpus luteum in the ovary of a cow as a yellow structure. The plural term is corpora lutea.
(Images: UWA Blue Histology)
The corpus luteum also is the location of significant angiogenesis, driven by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
The corpus luteum consists of luteinized thecal and luteinized granulosa cells.
Luteinized Granulosa Cells
(More? Week 1 - Oogenesis)
(Latin, corpus = body, albicans = whitish) The histological structure formed by the degenerating corpus luteum in the ovary if implantation does not occur and the hormone hCG is not released. The white, not yellow, because of the absence of steroid hormone synthesis/accumulation.
(More? Week 1 Notes)
Corpus luteum hemorrhage (CLH) is a significant problem for women taking anticoagulants (for a thrombotic disorder) or women with congenital bleeding disorders. This bleeding into the corpus luteum following ovulation is generally not a problem for healthy women.
References: Corpus luteum hemorrhage in women with bleeding disorders. Hoffman R, Brenner B. Womens Health (Lond Engl). 2009 Jan;5(1):91-5. Review. PMID: 19102645
Search Apr 2009 "corpus luteum" 12,846 reference articles of which 1,012 were reviews.
anti-granulosa luteinized cells (GLCs) antibodies in infertile patients
corpora lutea - plural of corpus luteum.
endocrine gland vascular endothelial growth factor (EG-VEGF) - from granulosa lutein cells, synthesis is highest during the mid- to late luteal phase.
endothelin system - influenced by endocrine and paracrine factors. granulosa lutein cells
forkhead box O1 (FOXO) - FOXO1, FOXO3, and FOXO4 are expressed in human luteinized mural granulosa cells.
heparanase (HPSE) - an enzyme (endoglycosidase) that cleaves heparan sulfate proteoglycans, major components of the basement membrane and extracellular matrix.
human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG)
luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR)
luteinized human granulosa cells
luteolysis - degeneration of the corpus luteum
steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) - a protein involved in steroidogenesis
steroidogenic factor 1
theca lutein cells (thecal cells)
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